Just Say No To Clearance Racks

I’d love your help building a versatile wardrobe that blends classic with a little edge. Make that a LOT more edge. So far, I’m filled to the gills with white and black. I wear the same jewelry every day. So BORING. For the love of fashion, can you save me from the Ann Taylor clearance rack?
— Kelly

If we harken back to last week's style post, you'll remember we are tackling three issues in this question:

  1. Non-boring jewelry
  2. Avoiding clearance racks
  3. Classic wardrobe with an edge

We've already talked about how to get non-boring jewelry (you can read that post here), so today we are all about affordable fashion and avoiding the clearance racks, you know the ones *ahem* Target *ahem*.

If you aren't gonna shop clearance racks, how will you live???

I can hear you wailing now. Never fear - I've got you covered with tips + tricks and new stores that should become your go-to's, if they aren't already. 

  1. Clearance racks = impulse shopping which is something I forbid all of my clients to do. Impulse shopping NEVER leads to something being in your wardrobe for life. 

  2. If shopping clearance racks is your weakness, then avoid them all together (yes, even to just look) or even avoid the store. 

  3. If you wouldn't pay full price for it, don't buy it on clearance. It's either worth your money or it's not. A reduced price doesn't make the item any better.

So where can you shop? These are the places I steer my clients when they want to avoid the clearance aisles but they still want good fashion*:

  • Zara - Kinda like the grown up H&M The prices aren't always cheap, but the designs are great, and you will look polished. 
  • The Outnet - designer online outlet store. I ALWAYS send clients here and it's my obsession.
  • ASOS - great, super fashion forward items from the UK.
  • T.J. MAXX (sometimes Marshall's, never Ross) - great names for great prices with merchandise that turns over weekly (if not more frequently). If you see something in your size that you even vaguely like, scoop it up, try it on and return it if you don't like it. If you don't buy it, it will be gone.
  • Consignment stores - go for the higher end ones for good quality brands at better prices. If you live in a large city (LA, NYC) you are more likely to find super high end items in person than if you live in a small or even mid-size city. Richmond is super fortunate to have Baggio and Alice McQueen to cure our fashion blues for really high end items (and you can even shop online!). 
  • H&M - some stylists leaves this one off due to it's lower quality, but if you have time and can look around, you can find some better quality pieces at H&M and I always include them for clients on a budget. Just avoid the trendier pieces which may look cheap. 

*Some of these places are considered "fast fashion" but if you do a little research, such as shopping the H&M Conscious Collection vs. the regular pieces, you can still do your part to stay sustainable and ethical in the fashion hunt.